Public Release – Lake Hamilton FIRE DEPARTMENT (LHFD Chief Doug Davey)
At approximately 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, an off-duty Lake Hamilton firefighter witnessed a boat explosion on Lake Catherine.
He immediately notified LHFD of the explosion, and that there were multiple patients with severe burn injuries, including several children. He then initiated patient care for the large group of children and adults. Morning Star Fire Department Chief Nate Kew was also in the area and quickly rendered aid.
Upon gathering information from our off-duty firefighter, LHFD Chief Davey requested two medical helicopters and three ground ambulances.
LHFD dispatched two fire engines and a fire boat to the scene, as the burning vessel was reported to be nearing cabins on the shore. Upon the arrival of fire apparatus, LHFD personnel not involved with patient care extinguished the vessel using firefighting foam, with water supply provided by our fire boat.
Upon extinguishment, LHFD firefighters deployed oil containment booms to absorb contaminants released from the burning vessel into the water.
LifeNet EMS ground units arrived and requested a third medical helicopter. Chief Davey coordinated with Lake Catherine State Park Superintendent Cheryl Vincent, LifeNet Director of Operations Klay Hall, and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Officers to manage the scene and return the Park to normal operation as quickly and safely as possible.
LHFD wishes to thank LifeNet EMS, LifeNet Air2, Survival Flight 10, Baptist Health MedFlight, Lake Catherine State Park Rangers and staff, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Hot Spring County Sheriff’s Office, Diamondhead Police Department, Morning Star Fire Department, Hot Spring County Department of Emergency Management, and Tanner’s Towing and Recovery.